Algoritam, November, 2010, 208 pages
Full English translation and French sample available
Winner of Prix du premier roman en littérature étrangère 2020
One of the 100 best Slavic Novels of All Time
Winner of T-Portal Award for best Croatian novel
Dada’s life is at a standstill in Zagreb—she’s sleeping with a married man, working a dead-end job, and even the parties have started to feel exhausting. So when her sister calls her back home to help with their aging mother, she doesn’t hesitate to leave the city behind. But she arrives to find her mother hoarding pills, her sister chain-smoking, her long-dead father’s shoes still lined up on the steps, and the cowboy posters of her younger brother Daniel (who threw himself under a train four years ago) still on the walls.
Hoping to free her family from the grip of the past, Dada vows to unravel the mystery of Daniel’s final days. This American debut by a poet from Croatia’s “lost generation” explores a beautiful Mediterranean town’s darkest alleys: the bars where secrets can be bought, the rooms where bodies can be sold, the plains and streets and houses where blood is shed. By the end of the long summer, the lies, lust, feuds, and frustration will come to a violent and hallucinatory head.
Savičević playfully transposes the genre of a traditional Western drama onto the contemporary world, challenging the omnipotent heroes of childhood and questioning what constitutes heroism today. Her shabby seaside hometown provides the perfect backdrop for this tale of loss and redemption, redolent of transient glamour and unrealised small-town dreams.